It was important that England bounced back from their defeat in the first Test Match vs Pakistan at Lord’s and at Emirates Old Trafford England came back in style to level the series before heading into the third Test at Edgbaston.
These guys are strong and they can come back really quickly. We need to work hard but we can come back.Misbah-ul-Haq
In truth England always looked comfortable after amassing a huge first innings total of 598-8, with superb performances from Joe Root (254) and captain Alastair Cook (105), ensuring that the pressure was on the Pakistan team from the very start of the game.
For Pakistan the problems in their first innings were fairly obvious, Misbah-ul-Haq was the only batsman to score over 50 runs, while the tourists other seven established batsmen combined to add a mere 89 runs to their first innings total of 198.
For once Stuart Broad and James Anderson were not the ones wrecking havoc in the bowling attack, Chris Woakes was pick of the England bowlers in the first innings as he took 4-65.
After finishing their first innings 391 behind the England total, the Pakistan team were probably as shocked as the rest of us when Alastair Cook chose to bat again instead of forcing the follow-on. Cook and Root again batted destructively before declaring on 173-1, a lead of 564 runs which would mean Pakistan faced a world-record victory target.
Demoralised and staring down the barrel at defeat, Pakistan fared little better than their first-innings as they were bowled out for just 234. Jimmy Anderson, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes took 3 wickets apiece and Joe Root got in on the act with the scalp of Riaz.
Perhaps if Pakistan played in more restrained manner the outcome of the match would have been different.
So where did it go so wrong for Pakistan, the press-ups and salutes we saw at Lord’s seem to be a distant memory now. Pakistan may have found the pressure of England target too tough of a mental burden. On reflection England’s attack weren’t particularly menacing towards the Pakistan top order, they simply bowled line and length and waited for the Pakistan batsman to make mistakes. Perhaps if Pakistan played in more restrained manner the outcome of the match would have been different.
Speaking to The Telegraph captain Misbah-ul-Haq said; “Full credit to them, the way they bowled and fielded. We were nowhere near, we were below average. We need to improve in every department.”
“After this bad result we can still turn around really quickly. These guys are strong and they can come back really quickly. We need to work hard but we can come back.”
The Test Series now heads to Edgbaston, England’s Fortress, where Pakistan can expect an expect an entirely different atmosphere to that of Lord’s and Old Trafford. The series is now perfectly poised at 1-1 and victory will go to the side with the most courage and preserving, however England will have their 12th man right behind them in the Edgbaston faithful.
SEE PAKISTAN AT EDGBASTON
England will take on Pakistan on Wednesday 3 – Sunday 7 August at Edgbaston and tickets are available for just £6 for Under 16s and from £31 for Adults.